High schools in Illinois including Leyden Highs Schools will not be able to hold traditional graduation ceremonies in May because of advice from health experts to limit crowds in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as evolving federal, state and local government directives.
The Illinois school districts will instead most likely host virtual celebrations in late May. Leyden Highs Schools should look for an in-person celebration in early August if crowds are allowed to gather by then.
The fact that traditional ceremonies cannot proceed does not diminish the “incredible accomplishment and milestone that all of the graduating eighth graders and high school seniors reached this spring.”
As a parent, I want you to know how disappointed we all are that this year must be different for everyones’ health and safety.
Given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, holding a virtual commencement is in the best interest of our students and their families.
The virtual ceremony can include the same elements of an in-person one, like prerecorded speeches from the School District 212 Superintendent, the Principals as well as the planned student speeches. Every student can have their name called in the livestreamed event.
Leyden High School should hope to plan events to celebrate the class of 2020 once gatherings are allowed, it is still too early to tell what that would look like.
Too much is up in the air. We don’t know for certain if any of the schools can have classes on our their campuses in the fall.
No one is really sure how we’ll transition back to normal, or when.”
Everyone agrees that an in-person commencement can’t happen in May.
But even the opportunity to walk in the fall or next spring would be better than nothing.
Leyden High Schools should put up a commencement page; putting a comments section on its commencement page to seek student input on what the virtual ceremony should look like. The District 212 leadership should seek ideas for creative ways to celebrate the graduates as part of and leading up to the virtual commencement ceremonies.
Leyden High Schools should solicit ideas for creative ways to celebrate our graduates as part of and leading up to the virtual commencement ceremonies.
The sooner Leyden High Schools acknowledge that the in person graduation in May is being cancelled, the more meaningful planning can be launched with graduating student input as well as the greater community in general.
This input process should be embarked upon by all of the school districts in Leyden, Norwood Park and Maine Townships for a meaningful virtual commencement ceremony.
A great well to launch such a planning process would be for Leyden High Schools to launch a commencement website with an East and West Leyden Town Hall Meetings.
We should not be disappointed, sad and grieving for 8th graders and seniors in the area townships. We don’t want anyone afterwards saying: “We should have done better.”
Everyone should be looking at ways of celebrating students that would be unique to our communities, and this should be communicated to students in coming weeks.
I am crushed the high school students’ senior year has been disrupted. I understand how hard it was for the students to leave campus early, just as spring began, when so many rites of passage seemed near. I also understand that all of the students have been looking forward to what will likely be for some their one and only graduation.
It is critical that everyone in the community show support for this important milestone.
Another thought would be to hold an in-person ceremony for the graduating students and their guests at a Leyden Reunions 2021. The ceremony during next year when alum hold their reunions, making such a reunion nothing short of spectacular.
Whatever the final look of the virtual graduation or a series of activities to commemorate the 2020 graduates it must emanate from input from the seniors, parents of seniors and faculty of the school districts.